aham giritras ca suradayo ye
daksadayo ’gner iva ketavas te
kim va vidamesa prthag-vibhata
vidhatsva sam no dvija-deva-mantram
aham—I (Lord Brahma); giritrah—Lord Siva; ca—also; sura-adayah—all the demigods; ye—as we are; daksa-adayah—headed by Maharaja Daksa; agneh—of fire; iva—like; ketavah—sparks; te—of You; kim—what; va—either; vidama—can we understand; isa—O my Lord; prthak-vibhatah—independently of You; vidhatsva—kindly bestow upon us; sam—good fortune; nah—our; dvija-deva-mantram—the means of deliverance suitable for the brahmanas and demigods.
I [Lord Brahma], Lord Siva and all the demigods, accompanied by the prajapatis like Daksa, are nothing but sparks illuminated by You, who are the original fire. Since we are particles of You, what can we understand about our welfare? O Supreme Lord, please give us the means of deliverance that is suitable for the brahmanas and demigods.
In this verse, the word dvija-deva-mantram is very important. The word mantra means “that which delivers one from the material world.” Only the dvijas (the brahmanas) and the devas (the demigods) can be delivered from material existence by the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a mantra and is suitable for delivering the conditioned souls from mental speculation. The conditioned souls are engaged in a struggle for existence (manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati [Bg. 15.7]). Deliverance from this struggle constitutes the highest benefit, but unless one gets a mantra from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, deliverance is impossible. The beginning mantra is the Gayatri mantra. Therefore, after purification, when one is qualified to become a brahmana (dvija), he is offered the Gayatri mantra. Simply by chanting the Gayatri mantra, one can be delivered. This mantra, however, is suitable only for the brahmanas and demigods. In Kali-yuga, we are all in a very difficult position, in which we need a suitable mantra that can deliver us from the dangers of this age. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His incarnation as Lord Caitanya, gives us the Hare Krsna mantra.
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.” In His Siksastaka, Lord Caitanya says, param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam: “All glories to the chanting of sri-krsna-sankirtana!” The maha-mantra—Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—is directly chanted by the Lord Himself, who gives us this mantra for deliverance.
We cannot invent any means to be delivered from the dangers of material existence. Here, even the demigods, such as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, and the prajapatis, such as Daksa, are said to be like illuminating sparks in the presence of the Supreme Lord, who is compared to a great fire. Sparks are beautiful as long as they are in the fire. Similarly, we have to remain in the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and always engage in devotional service, for then we shall always be brilliant and illuminating. As soon as we fall from the service of the Lord, our brilliance and illumination will immediately be extinguished, or at least stopped for some time. When we living entities, who are like sparks of the original fire, the Supreme Lord, fall into a material condition, we must take the mantra from the Supreme Personality of Godhead as it is offered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. By chanting this Hare Krsna mantra, we shall be delivered from all the difficulties of this material world.
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